Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

Ingredients
2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.
apple1
***

1. Grind the spices together.
apple2

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.
apple3

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.
apple4

4. Add the rest of the spices.
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The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :
apple6b

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.
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The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.
apple7b

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.
apple8

And the darker balsamic.
apple8b

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Apple Spiced Cake with goat cheese icing and caramel drizzle

My brother asked for a home-made birthday cake for this birthday. This is what I made… It’s a pretty long process, do not try to make it after work as I did… Mine came out a bit “clumsy” for that reason.

Ingredients for the cake :
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tea spoons baking powder
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tea spoon ground allspice
1/4 tea spoon ground dry ginger
pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup applesauce
ingredients1

Ingredients for the icing :
6 oz goat cheese
8 oz mascarpone
2 table spoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tea spoon cinnamon
ingredients2

Ingredients for the caramel sauce/drizzle
1 cup sugar
6 table spoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup 35% cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch allspice
ingredients3

***

1. Butter and flour your cake rounds. Cut out parchment paper to line the bottom.
I used 1x 9″ and 2x 8″ cake molds because that’s what I have. If you have all the same size it’ll look better. If you have 4x 8″ that’s probably be best to have slightly thinner cake layers.
cake-molds

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.
dry

3. In a measuring cup combine the whole milk and vanilla extract.
wet

4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar.
butter1

5. Cream together for a few minutes until fluffy.
butter2

6. Add the eggs one at the time, beating well between each addition.
eggs

7. Add the dry and wet ingredients in increment, starting and ending with the dry. No in between step pictures but the order is :
Dry -> Wet -> Dry -> Wet -> Dry
combine

8. Fold in the applesauce.
applesauce

9. Divide the batter into your cake rounds.
divide

10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
cool1

11. Remove from the pan (use a plate, they should drop right out when you flip them).
Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool fully on a rack.
cool2

12. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing.
Wash the bowl and paddle of the mixer and put all the ingredients in the bowl.
icing1

13. Beat until smooth, scrapping down the sides a few times.
Stick in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up some.
icing2

14. Time for caramel!
In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat on medium.
caramel1

15. From this point on do not step away from the stove.
The sugar will first melt and get bubbly. You want to stir a few times to ensure all the sugar is melted.
caramel2

16. Then it will start to look hard and dry. You want to keep breaking this at this point to prevent lumps in the sauce.
caramel3

17. When it gets a color you like, turn the heat to low. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cream and stir until smooth.
Remove from heat and add the bourbon and spices. Stir until smooth.

**Note my caramel is a shade darker then most people would aim for because I kinda like a tiny bit of the bitterness of it. YMMV stop at your preferred color of caramel.
caramel4

18. The residual heat in the sauce pan is enough to push the caramel into scorched territory (especially if you take it as far as I did). So transfer the caramel to a heat neutral vessel (here a quart mason jar) and allow to cool.
caramel5

19. Time to assemble.
Stack up your cakes with icing in between, ending with a thinner layer on top.
If you want to make it prettier cut the domed top of the cakes so they stack up more neatly.
assemble1

20. Drizzle as much caramel as you want over the whole thing.
cake

21. In a perfect world, put the assembled cake in the fridge for an hour to firm up. But my brother got home so we didn’t wait.
assemble2

22. Drizzle more caramel on the slices, if you want.
Makes for a rich but not too dense or heavy cake with plenty of sweetness. the tartness of the goat cheese is very nice in the icing and the caramel rounds it up.
slice

Oven roasted butternut squash soup

Totally stole this recipe from Ros. But she has the right idea of Fall being for soups.

Ingredients
1 huge butternut squash
2 medium-large onions
3 small garlic cloves
2 box of chicken stock
4 small, tart apples (empire and spartan in my case)
2-3 table spoon maple syrup (or more, to taste)
Fresh ginger
Allspice
cinnamon
salt & pepper
olive oil
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 385F.

Slice the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds and membrane.
scoop

2. Slice in wedges and spread on baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. If your butternut is a normal size you’ll get way with just quartering it… mine was huge so I went with wedges and 2 baking sheets.
wedges

3. Drizzle the wedges generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can also use melted butter, if you prefer. Put in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes.
drizzle

4. About 20 minutes before the end of the timer, chop the onions and garlic and sweat for a few minutes with about a table spoon of olive oil.
sweat

5. While the onions are cooking down, peel and slice the apples.
apples

6.  Add the apples to the onions along with the ginger, allspice and cinnamon (I used about 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and 1/4 tea spoon of cinnamon, but really use as little or as much as you want)
spices

7. By now the squash should be ready. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool so you can manipulate it. Peel the squash and cut it in chunks. Add to the pot with the onions and apples.
chunks

8. Add 1 box of chicken stock and the maple syrup and bring to a boil.
stock

9. Blend down, adding stock as needed to get to the desired texture. Taste and adjust seasoning (it will likely be missing salt).
blend

10. Serve with croutons. It’s even better with a dollop of sour cream, or just some cream, but I was out.
serve

Jerk Chicken Wings

Because I wanted something spicy and easy to share. You can use the jerk marinade with pretty much any cut of chicken. The recipe is simple, but to compensate I took way too many pictures. You have been warned.

Ingredients
3 bundles of green onions
1/4 cup lime juice
6 table spoon AllSpice (ground)
3 Caribbean laurel leaves
1 whole nutmeg (grated)
1 table spoon kosher salt
10 springs of thyme (fresh)
4 habaneros
12 whole chicken wings.

ingredients2

***

1. Wash the green onions, remove the roots and cut into chunks so that they will fit in a food processor.
green-onion

2. Wash the thyme and roughly chop the sprigs. Add to the food processor along with the Caribbean laurel.
herbs

3. Ground the allspice. You want to turn it into a fine powder. I tend to use a cheap-ish coffee grinder for this, rather then a mortar and pestle.
all-spice1b allspice2

4. Add the ground allspice to the food processor and grate the nutmeg.
spices

5. Juice the limes. It helps if the limes are room temperature rather then cold, and roll them under your hand against the work surface before cutting them to release the juice.
lime

6. Add the lime juice and the salt to the food processor.
salt-and-lime

7. While wearing gloves, cut the habaneros in half and remove the white placenta and the seeds. Add to the food processor and carefully discard the gloves.
heat

8. Blend until everything is incorporated. The marinade will freeze well at this stage.
blend

9. Separate the chicken wings. Discard the wing tips (or freeze to make stock later). Put the wings in a larger freezer bag.
trim

10. Add the marinade to the bag and massage a bit to ensure all the wings get coated. This is the part when this will look dubious and weird… It turns out tasty, I swear. Put in the fridge and allow to marinade over night.
goo

11. Oven bake at 400F for 30 minutes or so or grill the wings, if you have a grill available.
cook

 

 

Spices Kissed Pound Cake

Not a light cake by far, but delicious and satisfying. The spices are very subtle, so feel free to change the proportions to your personal taste.

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
5 eggs
1/2 tea spoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 tea spoon fresh grated sapote
1/2 tea spoon 4 spices
1 table spoon vanilla extract
a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F

2. Sift the flour

3. Cut the butter in chunks and put in the bowl of a stand mixer with the sugar.

4. Mix for a few minutes until well creamed together.

5. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

6. Add the spices and mix until just incorporated.

7. Add the vanilla and the first of the eggs. Mix well and add the rest of the eggs one at the time, making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next one.

8. The result should be a thick, elastic dough.

9. Transfer the batter into a greased and flour dusted pan.

10. Bake for 60-90 minutes. Start checking at the 60 minute mark and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.